I very rarely have the time or the inclination to write a review on one of many products that I purchase on the internet, but in searching for a quality leather jacket I would eventually wind up – and keep coming back to, the Fox Creek Leather website. Once on the website and having read all the great reviews I was compelled to purchase the Drifter Leather Jacket, and thus since it was the reviews that helped me decide I thought it was only fitting that I comment on my purchase as well.
Having read all the reviews I wanted to test this jacket and see for myself if all these glowing reviews were legit. I thought there has to be a downside, with so many positive reviews? So I made a point to try and find something about this jacket that I could critique, and happily, I can not find one. This is probably the best money I spent on anything motorcycle related. I followed the fitting chart and the fit is dead-on. Even though I followed the measuring instructions I was worried that I measured wrong but obviously from years of doing this the people at Fox Creek correctly deduced my size and sent me a jacket that looks – no, is – custom-tailored.
Steven and Rosemary from Great Britain
The delivery box weighed 9 pounds! Think of the amount of leather that makes a jacket 9 pounds. In fact my petite wife had trouble picking up the box. She thought there were motorcycle parts in it. The box had been sitting in the hot 100 degree California desert heat inside a hot UPS truck. When I opened the box the leather was hot and that rich leather smell engulfed the living room and I and my wife’s senses. Having read the reviews and seeing such high marks and solid ratings the bar was set very high and so I really didn’t know what to expect. I was worried my wife would be upset that I bought a $500 leather motorcycle jacket off the internet but I can attest that the reviews are correct when they say you can tell this is a quality jacket made from hand-selected leather.
“This is a nice jacket!” my wife said and left me alone to admire my purchase. I guess she could tell from the look on my face that I needed alone-time. I knew then it passed the wife-approval test. Trying on the Drifter for the first time the design for this jacket has the zipper offset so it is like wrapping yourself into the leather and then zipping yourself into it.
Geoff wearing his Drifter
In comparison I was issued a handmade (in Honduras or some such place) leather jacket for work several years ago and thought it was a decent leather jacket for the price (free). The Drifter jacket is twice as thick and more than twice as heavy. Also I have seen many of my coworkers\riding group buddies’ “leather” jackets either start cracking, fading, or bleeding out in one California riding season. I can safely say that no one in either group has the same type of leather that this jacket is made from.
So I got the jacket in time for the 2014 California summer riding season. In the summer I ride about a 1200 mile a month combination of commute, long-distance cruising, and motorcycle-camping. I start out in 90 – 100 degree heat (average temp in the summer in the High Desert\Apple Valley\Death valley area). I also drive south down to Los Angeles\Orange County\San Diego area where the temps drop down to 60 and 70 degrees. I also ride at night and the temperatures can drop to the low 50’s and 60’s as well.
I am very sensitive to cold in my old age and I can say that with the removable lining I was not suffering from the layering game I usually play. If time is more important than money and I usually spend about ten minutes before a ride looking through my tour-pak and layering thermal or cold weather gear; with the Drifter I put it on and go. How much is that worth? I also have a lot more room in my bike luggage now too. I wore the Drifter with all the vent zippers open when it was about 100 degrees and found the temp inside and outside the jacket equalized so I was hot but not uncomfortable but that is one of the properties of leather that make it ideal jacket material. I also wore it in that 50 – 60 degree cold mountain air that bites you to the bone when you drive through it, and I estimate the Drifter with its neck-warmer is equal to about 3 layers of cold weather gear.
With the liner in I was able to power through an area I normally have to stop and add a few layers if I didn’t already do so. On my Road Glide with my Drifter jacket on in that cold I felt twenty years younger and unstoppable! How much is that worth? The two vent\front pockets also make this almost like a military jacket, I was able to carry my daughter’s full-size iPad that she forgot at my house in the right side pocket since I didn’t want the Harley vibration to break it if I left it in the luggage or tour-pak area.
Again I can’t find anything to critique. With the Drifter jacket I notice many people look at me and do double-takes (it is Southern California after all). They did not do this before but I surmise it is because some people can recognize quality when they see it. Just like art or coffee when people are used to graffiti or swill they are surprised when they taste or see something gourmet; the quality and workmanship found in this jacket is something I now look forward to showing off when I wear it.
After riding for just a few weeks with the Drifter I want to say this jacket is the king and all others are poor imitations or are standing in the shadows paying homage. In their wildest dreams could other leather makers match Fox Creek so I guess they just gave up and out-sourced and won’t even bother competing. (My wife even made a (bad) joke that I should stock up on Fox Creek leather so if they ever decide to go out of business I can turn around and sell it for double the price.
Needless to say the Drifter jacket has become the centerpiece of my riding gear. I am looking to purchase the gauntlet gloves and a set of chaps (I notice my hands and legs are colder now so I guess they are going through leather-envy or leather-withdrawal is that is possible). Look out for those reviews since I will probably extend my riding season into November or December with that gear.
So if you are serious about your motorcycle gear and particular about the quality and workmanship Fox Creek is probably the only game in town – in the whole U. S. even, being the last American-Made product that has a lifetime warranty. I can’t see a down-side to purchasing from them. If I can be disappointed it is remembering suffering through all those past rides with substandard gear, and buying thermal or cold weather gear that is now unnecessary, and after finding Fox Creek hesitating for so long before buying from them.
So after all these years I can finally cross one item off my bucket list: buy the best leather jacket you can find and try wearing it out! Fox Creek is now my go-to source for leather gear. Do your own research eventually you will find your way back here anyway so save yourself some time and just buy it now. You will not be disappointed.
By Scully from Barstow, CA